Gitanjali Poem no. 99 || Summary and Analysis

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When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is this struggle.

Then take away your hands and silently put up with your defeat, my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still where you are placed.

These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and trying to light them I forget all else again and again.

But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come silently and take thy seat here.

When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is this struggle.
Gitanjali Poem no. 99

Summary

      The theme of the poem is self surrender to His immanent will. When He sends His summons, man must obey His errand and bow to His feet. The poet says that the time comes when the Supreme Power comes to take the control of man's life ship, man should vacant his seat. The life is compared with sea-voyage and man is the pilot of this ship. Man should act and perform his duty till he is allowed but when Divine comes the struggle of man is vain. He must surrender to His will. The poet should therefore take away his hands and put up with his defeat in silence. He should accept the God's will as his good luck and sit silently at his place.

      Man is busy with worldly activity, with the earning of worldly wealth, man forgets the spiritual need. The poet has realised this thing and he will not waste his time in worldly affairs. He will wait patiently and wisely for the arrival of his master and welcome Him cheerfully when ever He wishes to come. The poet is in all-readiness and prepares himself for death, the ultimate end of human life.

Critical Analysis

      The erotic imagery of death recurs here. The poet-thinks that the wisdom lies in surrender to this ultimate will. The man is lost in worldly affairs throughout his whole life but when the spiritual illumination comes to him, he should leave this vain struggle and humbly bent to His errand that will take him away with him. Darkness is preferred to the light of earthly lamp which depicts innocence, the way to spiritual bliss.

Annotations

      Helm: The part of the ship or boat from where the pilot steers. Put up with: Bear. Puff: Breath.

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